A GMC Yukon owner in Illinois was elated to learn that his custom-built truck was named a finalist for the 2020 Hot Wheels Legends Tour.
The Hot Wheels Legends Tour is an annual collection of automotive shows that invites custom car owners and builders to come out and show off their homemade creations. A jury of automotive experts then judges every car in attendance at the show, with the winner entered as a finalist in the Hot Wheels Legends Tour. The winner is then selected from all of the finalists and gets to have their custom vehicle re-made into a scale Hot Wheels toy to be sold in stores all across the world.
James Konopka of Plainfield, Illinois was over-the-moon when his custom 1994 GMC Yukon was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Hot Wheels Legends Tour. His bright red Yukon is the result of 10 years of hard work and features a number of unique modifications, including custom front and rear bumpers that combined weigh roughly 1,000 lbs. The two-door Yukon also has a six-inch suspension lift, three-inch body lift and a two-inch torsion key lift in the front, the latter of which helps to offset the weight of the heavy front brush guard/bumper.
Konopka’s GMC Yukon has a stock 5.7L V8 engine, though the truck does have a cold air intake, dual exhaust with dual catalytic converters, and dual Optima Yellow Top batteries. The inside is mostly stock, as well, although it does have a 21-inch television in the rear seat, small digital monitors in the front sun visors, an aftermarket head unit and a billet steering wheel. The cargo area of the SUV is filled with a custom audio system with two subwoofers and an amplifier.
This will likely be the final form of Konopka’s GMC Yukon. His wife played a big part in the design and style of the SUV, but she passed away in 2018, so James doesn’t want to make any changes to it now that she’s gone.
“She was kind of like my advisor. She’d be like, ‘This looks good, leave these on,’ or ‘Don’t do that,’ and I respect her decisions,” he told local Plainfield, IL news publication WBBM. “The truck hasn’t changed since then, and it’s something that I don’t want to change because she was a part of that.”
While Konopka’s GMC Yukon did not win this year’s Hot Wheels Legends Tour, he plans to keep entering it into the event with the hope of one day seeing his beloved red SUV on display in a big box store.
“I would love to walk into a store and see my truck hanging in a Hot Wheel packaging,” he said. “That would be a really cool honor.”
Check out the video embedded below for a full overview of this custom-built 1994 GMC Yukon from Konopka himself.